What Is Trauma-Related Psychotherapy?

We experience trauma when there is a disruption of a protective barrier in our mind, which protects us from harmful and painful excessive stimulation.

In other words, when we are in a situation that is (or is perceived to be) threatening, our minds protect us by “checking out”, thus we are living from fragmented unprocessed understandings of our experience.

I believe that when an experience is overwhelming we cannot integrate it into a comfortable view of ourselves or the world.

Past experience informs our current understanding and influences how we feel and act. Increasing awareness of those connections frees us to be open to new ways of feeling and being. This empowers us to make different choices in shaping our future.

How does trauma therapy work?

The therapy partnership means that we work together to help you negotiate whatever distresses you.  It is my goal to create a safe space for growth where you can feel understood and accepted.

Your voice is important and your experience is valid. You are your own expert; I am here to help you realize just how much you know about your experience, and how you can impact change going forward.

Together we will work both in the here and now as well as draw from a historical perspective. What happens in a session represents a slice of what happens in your outside life; connecting threads between the two can greatly inform the process and enrich the therapy.  The more applicable the work is from the therapy room to your daily life, the more accessible and palatable the material becomes.

I incorporate both concrete recommendations and insight-oriented direction to help you negotiate difficulties.  Together we will explore both conscious and unconscious hurdles as they present themselves.

Types of Trauma With Which I Work:

  • Acute trauma results from a single incident (example: car accident, sexual assault and rape, active shooter exposure, etc)
  • Chronic trauma is repeated and prolonged (domestic violence or abuse, religious or cult abuse, narcissistic abuse, etc)
  • Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature (childhood abuse or neglect)

Examples of How Trauma Shows Up:

Panic Attacks
Relationship Conflicts
Identity Issues
Intimate Partner Violence
Life Transitions
Self-esteem Concerns
Anger and Aggression
Physical Symptoms